Saturday, December 28, 2013

ONCE UPON THE END

Once upon the end, a young boy known as Eric attempted to win the heart of his childhood crush. However, as mysterious masked person attacked the town, he began to experience an inconsistency of memories. Vowing to protect his town and discover the truth behind his doubts, he set out on a journey to isolate the attacker and defeat him without involving any more innocent citizens. In the midst of his journey, the boy noticed that he wasn't the only one who was suffering. A decision to either continue on his adventure for the sake of himself, or for the sake of the world, must be made.
There are three ending routes: Bad, Good, and Secret.
Should he choose to let people handle their problems themselves, it earns him the Bad Ending
But if he accepts that there are things greater than himself that are worth protecting, he gets the Good Ending
The boy might even destroy the five hidden evils, in which the truth is revealed through the Secret Ending
No matter the path, the boy will discover that his life wasn't as small as he originally believed, and that, in his life, there's no such thing as a coincidence.
[Description from voiceactiongalliance.com]

Developers(s): Kaza2929
Rating: (Not Rated)

~*~Click Here For Download~*~

{I, the reviewer, give Once Upon The End, 8 out of 10!)

COMMENTS

Once Upon the End is a fully-voiced JRPG-style game made with RPG Maker VX Ace. Funny thing, during development at Voice Acting Alliance, I was planning to audition for it myself but ended up missing the deadline. Oh well, but at least I can deliver a nice, unbiased review for you guys!

First of all, let me say that this game is HILARIOUS and VERY INTERACTIVE! The dialogue had me rolling more than once, and the best part is that when you go into houses, you can use your Action (spacebar) button on a lot of things to get random dialogue from Eric, and you MIGHT even find something, so be sure to spacebar as much as possible, or you might miss something! All the characters are quite loveable and have mostly excellent voice work. Everyone matches their characters perfectly, in voice believeable from their faces to personality. While some places can be stiff (mostly Yoko's dialogue), the voice acting often feels professional. Almost ALL the NPC and traders ARE VOICED, aside from ONE MERCHANT but his/her dialogue makes for a good joke about that, too!

Okay, now to the meat of the review; story.
You play a guy named Eric. He likes a girl named Yoko, though unfortunately is going out with Kazuo, so obviously Eric dislikes Kazuo A LOT. The beginning of the game you'll find yourself exploring random houses like a lot of JRPGs do, only there is a lot of interactions with items, which will get very fun dialogue from Eric and maybe a few items. Finally though, you go to your intended place and find Yoko there, too. Eric feels a bit depressed that Yoko, the old her he knew, may never exist again. The one who was nice to him. But then....SURGING HEADACHE! This is where the story begins.

After Eric returns home, he still gets more surging headaches, which begin to cause an inconsistency of memories. Soon chaos starts to errupt! Outside are zombies, ghosts, and ghouls, and what's worse, Eric's brother Ryan according to your sister Olice isn't back home yet! Venturing outside is for this purpose, and so you slay out zombies and form your party with Yoko, Rina, Kazuo, and new neighbor Chiyo! Still, even though you can easily shred through the threats, you and your party meet your match when a mystery masked dude shows up wanting Eric and Chiyo! This is when Eric decides to leave town, in order to lure the masked man away to protect home. With your friends accompanying you, you get tangled up in other engagements as you get further and further away from home to keep it safe.

One thing that I really liked about this game is we don't have a boring main. Eric isn't flat and he's just as entertaining as all the others, in fact, since he does have the most dialogue, he'll probably entertain you the most. I really enjoyed playing him, and his party members were excellent to bring along. I really like a good company, and it was a fun mix! There's Yoko, or magician, who seems pretty serious and can be a bit hard on Eric for no reason. There's Rina, our gunslinger, personally my favorite for her epic explosion skills. A curse was put upon her that may have brought the bad luck to town. There's also Kazuo; arrogant, jerkish, smooth, likes being with the ladies. And then the mysterious, adorable Chiyo where there's a lot more than meets the eye. Your party's classes are very cool with a lot of useful things, and honestly Rina was my favorite to play because of all her shooting and explosive skills, like her Nuclear Bomb. Very useful to end a battle fast!

The gameplay is typical for what you would have in handheld JRPGs, only this was built for the PC. It sort of makes me wish there was a way to stuff this in a GBA cartridge so I can play it anywhere with my GameBoy Advanced. The music, while borrowed, was perfectly chosen and made it fun! The "final" boss battle music made the battle REALLY enjoyable and I didn't mind how long it took, since the song was epic! Plus the optional "Bad@ss" bosses were always fun to face against, and trust me, IS worth taking them on~!

While a lot of times this game is lots of fun, with its breaking of the fourth wall and other video game references, the story holds its own. Some elements of the story may even be borrowed from other games, yet Once Upon the End makes it its own, and it's a pretty engaging story. There will be other feelings besides laughter. There is intense drama, inspiration, crying, and anticipation. I was shocked by the amount of feels this game delivered, and that I could shed tears over a game like this, but it did! The game has a total of 3 endings, though the Secret Ending is a very long extension to the "Good" ending, so you'll definitely want to get that one. The "Bad" ending was amazing in its own right, and delivered that dread and doom, showing a more intense side of Eric. While some questions still go unanswered, A LOT is brought to life and satisfied with the Secret Ending. Also, it appears there's a sequel in the works, which hopefully will tie up any loose ends left in this game.

Now this wouldn't be fair without negatives. Okay, sooo....
Some of the volume for voices were inconsistent. Also, mic quality would vary a lot. While no one's recording was terrible terrible quality, there were some peaks and breath puffs to be found. Of course, some voice acting felt a bit stiff. Cronos' wife sounded more like a valleygirl-ish teenager, though it did strangely work in an odd way though a bit out of place. Her acting in the Bad Ending though was really amazing! Also Yoko, while her voice was perfect and she often matched her personality, there were many parts I felt she was very stiff, but she does improve the further it went along. Same can be said for a few NPCs, but most of the acting was excellent, and even the under-performed had their moments that show off their potential to become amazing actors! Some of the perverted humor I could of done without, mostly the blatent stuff, and personally I am not a fan of hearing the "f" word audible at times. These were mostly my major gripes with the game.

Overall, if you've been looking for a fun, action-packed, with some feels mixed in, free JRPG style video game WITH VOICE ACTING, Once Upon The End is not only your best bet, but you will not regret it. Some parts of the game, though no animated cutscenes, felt like an anime scene as the characters were acted out so well! Admittedly, some of the blatent perverted humor and slightly excessive swearing did lower my rating just a bit, but I enjoyed it nonetheless (and I won't lie some of those jokes still got me to laugh >//<). I madly am anticipating its sequel, which I believe is going to be called Twice Upon The End.

RECOMMENDED?
YES, WITH FEELING! Not only did it deliver a lot of feels and laughter and action, but the voice acting just makes it an automatic winner. So even if the gameplay may be a bit repetitive at times, it is worth it just for the story and hearing it being voice-acted out!


PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
Most of the time, the music fit the situation. Some tracks were really good. Some of the random boss battles had hilarious songs. There were a few times when a song felt out of place, but mostly good. Some of the tough boss battles were not a chore anymore with a good track blastin' as you fight!

[GRAPHICS]:
This game was made with RPG Maker VX Ace, so your standard RPG Maker style graphics. Old school JRPG with adorable little sprites, as well as well drawn character portraits and enemies. The sprites and portraits are all materials that come with the program, but this doesn't at all take away and if you've never played an RPGMaker VX Ace game before, you'll forever see them as these characters anyway~

[DIFFICULTY]:
Fairly easy, but sometimes boss battles can be pretty tough, especially when you have to take a boss down by yourself without your party. But nothing is impossible, and luckily what makes the bosses tough most of the time is their invisible high amount of HP, not their damage per hit.

[LEVELS]:
This is an RPG, so it doesn't actually have levels, but on the world map, there are a total of 6 areas; two towns, a creepy forest, a tower, a peaceful forest, and the castle where the king lives. While the map designs aren't anything spectacular, they work for the world and it's nice to not having something overly complex.

[GAMEPLAY]:
This is a JRPG style game made with RPG Maker VX Ace. It has the standard, built-in gameplay of walking around, entering houses, finding random things when you hit your action button (spacebar). You have encounters of enemies, but the battle system is not the standard system it comes with. You not only see the enemy portrait, you get to see all your party's sprites, and see them move forward as they use an attack which was nice. I also love how cute they look when they're victorious with their little jump spin! There are also a few instances where you can make choices that will effect your ending. While simple gameplay you're used to in handheld console style JRPGs, it's still fun.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
There's quite a bit of language. Your usual "d", "h", both "b" words, OMG, etc.! Some uses of "s" word is sprinkled here and there, and several instances of the "f" word, but luckily it's not every 2 seconds and feels more like it's here and there, but definitely way more than 10 times.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
In many buildings, you'll see wine bottles. Usually Eric says comments of refusal to drink it. Also, in one town there is a tavern where there are some drunk NPCs and you can buy beer (which amazingly restores HP and MP, though at the cost of coma a couple turns).

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
There are sprinkles of perverted humor, such as mentions of underwear, the word for a male's private said once, Kazuo saying how they got a "pretty good harem" (due to the amount of girls in your party), and things of that nature. When you defeat a random boss, she says how "no one's ever thrusted a sword into me like that before". A random NPC talks about when she remembers...having that thing that makes you a virgin. There's another boss where this guy wants you to beat his ero game (an "ero game" is basically a porn game) however the picture when fighting is just of a girl still in clothes and the dialogue is in Japanese (what is on that monitor screenie is unknown unless you can read Japanese). Later in the game, Eric realizes how when all the characters are partied up, they just sort of "disappear into me" though that is referring when partied it's not coded where you see their sprites follow you around. There's one market lady who says "you turn me on". Most of the stuff isn't too explicit, aside from a few blatent remarks. Most of it is just innuendo.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Some characters have scars, there might be some blood but it's hard to tell. In battle, you just see a picture of your enemy and effects as you use different skills, no blood.
There is death and mention of death, but nothing graphic.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
There is magic use by some characters in your party.
(SPOILERS!!!!!!! There is some things about alternate dimensions and time travel, and trying to bring someone back from the dead with the method of extracting memories.)

DEADLY ATTACHMENT

It's been 4 years since Samantha last saw her stepbrother Daniel. Suddenly he comes back home for her eighteenth birhtday with his new girlfriend Jess. Sam can't be any happier - she always adored Dan and missed him terribly. But their reunion is ruined with the news of Jess' death. Police considers it to be a robbery but Sam sensising something fishy decides to start her own investigation.
[Description from LemmaSoft forums]

Developers(s): Dotama Studio
Rating: (not rated)

~*~Click Here For Download~*~

{I, the reviewer, give Deadly Attachment, 7 out of 10!)

COMMENTS

Deadly Attachment is a Kinetic murder mystery novel, the first completed project for new indie developers Dotama Studio. The story follows our main character, Samantha, on the day of her 18th birthday. Her stepbrother whom she loves and fangirls over, Daniel, comes home for the first time in 4 years. She's quite ecstatic, though jealousy soon takes over when he introduces his red-headed girlfriend, Jessica. Thankfully though, her jealousy doesn't feel too strong and she still enjoys her birthday party with her friends, though she was disappointed to see them leave early. However, upon the next day waking up from a hangover, grieve news comes out of the mouth of their parents - Jessica has been murdered! Now Samantha is out to find the truth, and the evidence she is uncovering is suspiciously leading to a place she wishes not to go.

At first glance of playing the game, it seems pretty mediocre. The main character's inner thoughts and dialogue felt flat at times, and to be honest the beginning feels pretty much uninteresting. Even after hearing about the murder occuring, it didn't really give that feeling of excitement of something sinister going on. However, once Samantha starts investigating for the truth on her own, THAT'S when it gets interesting. The writing suddenly gets a lot better, as well as the music, drawing you in and wanting to stick with it to see how this'll end.

To be honest, from the beginning I had sort of figured the story out, but even so the way it was executed was brilliantly and there were even some things part of the big reveal that were a surprise to me! I only properly guessed one major thing, but there was more to it that caught me a bit by surprise and I have to say that the ending is what makes this novel something you should at least play once!

The art is pretty good, while not jaw-dropping, they were well done and feel real. The music, though some of the beginning tracks are nothing memorable, intensifies and sounds pretty good and perfect for the game's finale. I'm not disappointed at all with its ending, as a few details caught me by surprise and it was brilliantly executed and well written. Even Samantha's dialogue and inner thoughts immediately became engaging. I also liked the picture for the end credits, that pretty much sums the story right there!

One thing that really bothered me though, which is probably a common complaint, is you still see Samantha's side sprite for her inner thoughts, which I feel take away a bit. Sometimes this can be done right, and usually the dialogue if the sprite is there too should be in parenthesis so you can tell the difference between her speaking and thoughts. Sometimes the expressions of the sprites didn't change much when they should have, leaving characters feeling a bit stiff. However, this is also remedied in the game's climax.

Overall, while maybe not the best murder mystery visual novel out there, it's worth a play through just for that ending. Let's see if you see that one coming, and this shows a lot of promise and potential from Dotama, and I look forward to future productions from them!

RECOMMENDED?
If you really like murder mysteries, this one is worth playing for the ending! Seriously, that ending was brilliantly done and unexpected even if you figured it out! Plus it's short, so you can get to the meat really quickly and yet the pacing is executed fairly well.

I certify this *VISUAL NOVEL NEWCOMER WORTHY* because it's short and simple, yet packs a good punch at the end. No need to know anything about anime cliche or anything since there are no Japanese names or references.

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
While the music wasn't anything spectacular, it fit the story. Actually, once the self-investigation of the murder and intense scenes come up, the music actually starts to get really good!

[ARTWORK]:
Pretty good. In fact, the artwork sort of attracted me in the first place. While usually not my cup of tea, the sprites are very well drawn and a nice use of colors. I really liked the few CGs that were present the most probably!

[INTERACTION]:
Being a Kinetic visual novel, there is zero interaction.
[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
Two or three uses of the "s" word, one use of both "b" words, and the harsher form of "ticked".

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
There is mentioning of drinking and that Samantha has a hangover, but it isn't shown.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
There really isn't. Samantha has romantic feelings toward her stepbrother Daniel, but you can't really call it incest since they aren't blood-related. Also there is a mention of having an affair, but it is only briefly mentioned and not shown.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Being a murder mystery, someone is murdered. There are some depictions of blood, but nothing entirely gruesome, except for one CG showing the murdered victim pale and empty-eyes.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
None.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Belated Merry Christmas! (4 years of reviews)

I hope your Christmas was very, very merry!

Can you believe it? Yesterday marked the 4th year of when I officially launched this review blog! I apologize that 2013 was a lack of reviews, but I am sure you noticed the trend of visual novel reviewing and trust me, there is more where that came from!

Also today I just received a package containing volume 1 of "Z Forever" a new Christian shounen manga which has been pretty cool so far. Volume 2 is almost ready as well, so be on the look-out for my review of that!

I will also begin reviewing a lot of RPG Maker games. The one which I shall review first will be a game called "Once Upon The End" which is full of comedy, drama, and FULL VOICE ACTING! Yeah, you heard me, even random NPC dialogue is voiced!!!

I'm also going to try and review more video games (mostly indie) aside from just visual novels, and a few newer games. Also I finally got my hands on a GameBoy Advance and will review some GBA games for ya as well~

Have a cool new year and hopefully they'll be a few more reviews posted before the year is up. See ya later~!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

BRAINFORCER3: ENCOUNTER AT OUTPOST TRANQUILITY


BrainForcer3 is a non-shooter adventure/puzzle solving game. Your task is simple, find the energy cells, push objects, use switches to explore new areas and open the doors.
(From gamejolt.com)





Developers(s): SilentWorks
Rating: Family Friendly

~*~Click Here For Download~*~

{I, the reviewer, give BrainForcer3, 7 out of 10!)

COMMENTS

Upon happily discovering the indie game website, Game Jolt, where developers post their games for us gamers to play free (YES!!!), I came across this title. The game serves as an example of what SilentWalks' "MegaKerma" engine is capable of, as well as an entry for a Hungarian game making competition. As you can see, this is evidently the third in the series, but knowledge of the first and second isn't needed as there appears to be no references for the first or second. Actually, the plot on the game itself is pretty vague, so the reason why you're there and trying to leave is unknown. But enough with that, let's talk about the game!

It's a pretty simple concept; pick up these things called "cells" which work as keys to activate opening the door to get to the next level Sounds pretty simple, right? Wrong! Yes, this game has no enemies. And yes, you don't get to shoot and blow things up. Sound boring? Actually, this game is pretty addicting! Like the game Portal, though I really can't compare since I haven't had the chance to play it, you use your brain to try and figure out where and how to get to the cells. It starts out easy, the cells being in plain sight. But then, it starts to get complicated. You'll have to press panels, jump up to somewhere or down to somewhere, activate other things in order to get to cells behind hazardous things. There are many obstacles, even though the game uses simple mechanics.

I found myself pretty frustrated quickly when I couldn't find a cell, or figure out where to go. I almost thought a cell was non-existent and maybe it is a bug in the game, or the creator made a mistake and forgot to put it there, but no I just wasn't looking hard enough. Sometimes the way to get a cell was simplier than it initially appears, leaving you feeling stupid when you go to the YouTube walkthrough only to find out it is because you missed something.

For a free game, I had a blast and was utterly amazed at the quality. The graphics were beautiful. It had nice level designs, smooth textures, the style sort of reminds of of Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II without looking so clunky, more like the original UT smoothness. The sound effects were nice and well placed (though one particle walking/running noise almost sounded more like a heartbeat than a walk). And the music....oh gosh, it had some pleasant pieces. Nothing cinematic or anything, but very nice electronic sort of pieces that went well with the atmosphere of the game. I actually want the OST!

Now, the gameplay was nice, simple controls and everything, but that doesn't mean this game isn't without flaws. For one, you walk PRETTY SLOW, and the run speed I think should of been the walk speed. There is no option to toggle run, so you'll find yourself holding SHIFT a lot. When you press Esc, you only have the options of Exit and Continue; there is no return to main menu, so if you wanted to go back to the menu, you have to quit and reload the game first. The end cutscene, if you move your mouse a little, but very shaky and like it is preventing you to move around, and then I pressed "W" thinking I had to move around but it wasn't a level it was the end scene, but I guess you press any key to continue?

Storywise, there really isn't any. You're just trying to get out and leave, I guess. There was one part where it seemed some story was forming, but I was left unsatisfied when it didn't seem to conclude. *SPOILER BEGINS HERE* On one level, you find these Star Creatures in tubes asking for help and you say "Uh, okay, I'll see what I can do", but you advance on, and when you beat the final level in the cutscene the dialogue says "Farewell, Earth creature!" Umm, so did you help them? I wish it went more into that. *SPOILER ENDS HERE* So I kinda wish there was more regarding that, even if it remains vague on your reason for being there and leaving in the first place. Maybe it is referenced in the previous games that I am not aware of? I don't know.

Anyway, aside form all that, it was a really good game for what it was. I'm still shocked that this is free, it's indie, and it looks that good. Each level was unique, it was fun when I wasn't frustrated on locating a cell. It's short, but I enjoyed what was there and depending on if you can figure out the puzzles or not, your gameplay might be longer than it initially is suppose to be. The dialogue, though little of it, was simple but well thought of. I also liked the little robot voices on the final level. Though the game might not have too much replayability, due to having the knowledge of getting all the cells, it's still fun to run through and bask in the nice music, the eye pleasing graphics, and the fun of the simple mechanics. I really hope there'll be a BrainForcer4 with more levels, or even just an expansion to this one. All in all, it's a high quality game that's free, as well as completely clean. No violence, no language, completely innocent so you don't have to worry about your little kids/siblings watching or even playing it ^.^

RECOMMENDED?
YES! It's fun, it's challenging, its graphics are gorgeous, and best of all...IT'S FREE! You got nothing to do, go download it now!

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
The music is really good! Though there isn't much music in this game (which adds effect), when there is, it's pretty good. I especially love the piece that initiates when you use the anti-gravity tool~

[GRAPHICS]:
For an indie game, the graphics are BEAUTIFUL! All the levels are well designed, and only get better as you progress through the game. Sure, they're dated compared to what can be accomplished now in commercial games, but I was in awe at how lovely the levels looked and their textures.

[DIFFICULTY]:
Don't think just because there aren't monsters and guns and explosions that this game isn't hard. No, my friend, you'll get stuck places and might even have to refer to the walkthrough on YouTube, and then when you see it feel stupid that ya missed it! Despite being a simple "collect the cells to open the door" game, getting these cells isn't always a piece of cake. They're often hidden, or you have to do a bunch of things in order to access them. BrainForcer really lives up to its name, forcing your brain to work!

[LEVELS]:
Amazing! Again, I am in awe for a game this quality to be free! Despite only being 8 levels in length, each level was unique and more complex as you go. Level 1 may seem kinda lame, being one room and then you have the cells practically right in front of you, but soon you progress and things get more complex. Corridors, twists and turns, spirals upward, even an instance of going outside in a space suit! The levels are well designed and always something new and interesting for a small, free game.

[GAMEPLAY]:
It's a first person, non-shooter puzzle game in the vain of titles such as Portal. Only, you don't even get any sort of gun or anything to carry, and there's no robots....well, there's some at the end, but they don't do much nor are a threat. The goal is to find these cells in order to unlock doors to proceed to the next level. The game uses very simple mechanics. Most of the time, you have to jump up or down to places, activate panels, push things, and press buttons. But it does well making that simplicity its strength. And trust me, simple doesn't mean boring nor easy. This game, though no shooting things and being chased by mobs of monsters, will have you getting impatient or even ticked at times. Also, your character walks REALLY SLOW, the run speed should be the walk speed, so it was kind of irritating when you wanted to get places quicker, but that's my only real major complaint.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
Nope.


[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Nope.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
None of the sort.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
Nothing.

Monday, September 9, 2013

THE BIRTH OF MEWTWO (THE UNCUT STORY OF MEWTWO'S ORIGIN)

Original Japanese Title: Myutsuu to Ai (Mewtwo and Ai)
Dubbed by: 4Kids
Animation: (unknown)
Manga adaption?: This was not adapted from a manga
Rating: Not Rated

{I, the reviewer, give The Uncut Story of Mewtwo's Origins, 9 out of 10!}

COMMENTS

For those of you who remember Pokemon: The First Movie, otherwise known as Mewtwo Strikes Back, a certain scene (10 minutes in length) was cut, as it was deemed "too dark". While as disappointing as that was, I got good news for you! 4Kids later on DID dub that deleted scene! In the direct-to-video release movie, Mewtwo Returns, which was originally a television special in Japan, you'll find on the DVD's bonus features the very scene that was cut, entitled "The Uncut Story of Mewtwo's Origins" otherwise known as The Birth of Mewtwo. When I bought that DVD, I had NO IDEA that this scene was even there, tucked away in the extras. I had known that the original movie was edited, and felt sad a highly praised scene was cut and I'll never get to see it. But I discovered it via YouTube, and someone said it was on the DVD, so I got to watch it in higher quality!

Remember the scientists at the beginning? The head guy, Dr. Fuji, was doing more in his cloning project besides the creation of Mewtwo, a stronger version of the legendary Mew. If you remember Mewtwo's opening lines of "Where am I? This...this is not the same. Was everything before, just a dream?" now you'll understand what was up with those thoughts. Giovanni (Team Rocket's boss) hired Dr. Fuji for the Mew Cloning Project, and Dr. Fuji saw it as an opportunity to learn more about possibly restoring life itself. Evidently, he had lost his daughter in a tragic accident and was able to bring back her conciousness, which he wants to complete in a clone. His obsession drove his wife to leave him, but he doesn't give up hope in seeing his beloved Amber (Ai in the Japanese) smile again.

We also get to see Mewtwo in his early stages, as a child basically. When he gains a conciousness, he telepathically connects with Ambertwo, who befriends him and three other Pokemon clones. In this dream state, she shows him the world; the sun, the moon, and the stars. The world outside, which the original Amber remembered. However, this relationship is short lived when the clones begin to fail. Even so, Ambertwo leaves a wonderful message for Mewtwo.

The movies of Pokemon are proof of the franchise's ability to be really in-depth. I especially loved how dark and fairly deep the first film was, and am actually baffled how this tear-jerking scene was cut when the themes of the overall movie were, in my humble opinion, much darker. Plus, this explains a lot more to probably why Mewtwo appears so heartless, and why he's so cruel throughout the rest of the film. Even so, I am glad 4Kids eventually dubbed it, even though it had to be stored as an extra. If you ever get he chance, get Mewtwo Returns, watch the "Uncut Story of Mewtwo's Origins", take the DVD out, and THEN watch Pokeman: The First Movie Mewtwo Strikes Back. With the impression of the deleted scene fresh in your mind, you're about to experience some feels you've never felt when you watched Mewtwo Strikes Back without this scene.

Recommend?
HIGHLY! You'll finally get to experience the missing feels from the first film, and be able to maintain those feels when you ever get the chance to watch the first movie again.

[VIEWING PLEASURE] 

[MUSIC]
Very, very nice, and fitting to the situation of this scene.

[SUB VS. DUB]
I have never seen it in its original Japanese, but I must say that it was dubbed quite beautifully.

[MOVIES/MANGA]
Pokemon: The First Movie (Mewtwo Strikes Back), Pokemon: Mewtwo Returns, and all the other films in the franchise.

[RELATED TITLES]
Pokemon (the anime series), Pokemon: The First Movie (Mewtwo Strikes Back), Pokemon: Mewtwo Returns, and all the other films in the franchise.

[DVD EXTRAS]
This scene itself is a DVD extra, found in the bonus section of the Mewtwo Returns DVD.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
None.

[TOBACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
Nothing.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
*SPOILER* Three of the Pokeman clones and Ambertwo die, but you simply see them fade away into sparkles in the dreamstate, and the lab tubes they were in now empty.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
This short, as well as the movie it was extracted from, deal with cloning.

*EPISODE LIST*
(This was a deleted scene from a movie)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

HOMEWORD ONE STORY


"This wasn't my home," thought Riku Saionji as he walked into his new house. After ten years of moving around the world with his father, he has returned to Japan, the place of his birth. After having lived in so many different places, he has lost all conception of what it means to have a home.

What does a home mean?

[LemmaSoft forums description]

Developers(s): Love in Space
Rating: 16+

~*~Click Here For Download~*~
(CAUTION; Be sure to download the "All Ages" version if you do not want to see adult content!)

{I, the reviewer, give Homeward One Story, 7 out of 10!}


COMMENTS

Homeward One Story is a Kinetic version of the original, 18+ novel simply titled "Homeward". This version only contains the Nonami Arc, and has all adult content REMOVED (well, most of it anyway). I thought it was a well chosen arc for this version, as Nonami is a character who is easily very loveable with her antics and energy. Plus, I'm a sucker for childhood romances, as Nonami is the "childhood friend" out of the three obtainable girls.

We start at a flashback of Riku as a child, who just so happened to follow a butterfly that is being carried aimlessly upon the wind. That is where he meets Nonami...all by chance. If he hadn't of followed that butterfly, the two may have never crossed paths, despite how small the town was.

Riku has lived all his life moving, and Nonami was the only "real" friend he actually had. Upon returning back to his land of birth, the two meet again...and Nonami hasn't forgotten him. He also meets Haruka, a classmate and friend of Nonami. And, his younger sister he barely knew, Sora, will be staying with him and his father while their mother recovers.

This story absolutely blew me away. It's a slice of life, but that doesn't mean nothing is going on. The amount of emotions you will feel spiraling together, accompanied by the amazing choice of soundtrack makes for a quite breath-taking, a replayable Kinetic story. Some parts of this story seriously brought tears to my eyes where appropriate, and some parts made me laugh and smile where appropriate. At some parts, I did feel a little weird as a girl, reading something originally intended toward guys, but I felt it was neat to see through a guy's perspective (even when he didn't always have the purest of thoughts, heh). Nonami was automatically my favorite character, and she and Riku due make an adorable couple. I also liked the brother sister relationship between Riku and Sora, and wish I could of seen more of that. With Haruka, sometimes I like her, but near the end I didn't really like her anymore, but she can be a very supportive friend despite some things.

Another thing I loved about this, besides how well written it was, is the fact it has this authentic visual novel feel. It almost feels like you're reading something originally in Japanese, but translated to English, but in fact this really is an OELVN. The character sprites are very well done, and don't just change expression but pose, too! The backgrounds are filtered backgrounds that the creator, Samu-kun, took himself while in Japan (most of the photos, anyway). Also, this is one of those rare free visual novels that actually has AN OPENING VIDEO!!! With a Japanese song, too, a lovely song called "First Love" by Ment@i. But most of all...THE MUSIC!!! These may be tracks that are free to download and use themselves, but the soundtrack was just amazing! He really knew what tracks to lay down and where to really envoke what to feel in the story!

To be honest, I had been putting off downloading this, knowing it used to be an H-Game. However, considering this was the "All Ages" version I thought I should give it a go, and the arc chosen seemed like something I'd enjoy reading through. And even though I'm more of a fan of interactive visual novels, I do like a good Kinetic once in awhile. I am SO GLAD I decided to download and play this. Once the game started, I was totally swept away by the prologue and intro. Such brilliant writing, full of feeling. Nevermind that this used to be 18+, this story had heart to it. In fact, if it were made into an anime, I'd probably watch it I loved it so much. While some parts made me feel uncomfortable, the true heart in this story well made up for that. And even that one scene near the end that seriously kind of pissed me off in a sense still had a purpose in it, with Riku wondering what was he doing and was it because...? And all that (and I won't say for the sake of spoilers).

Overall, this was a beautiful story that I enjoyed reading. I've even found time to play it again, and it still gets me all emotional. I seriously feel like I'm watching a slice of life anime series rather than reading a story, but that means the VN is doing its job! My only reason for the bit of low rating is due to certain scenes, and sometimes useless perverted stuff (like when Riku and Haruka were partnered in a race, and the events that took place I felt weren't really nesscessary). But despite that, I still love this game and will keep reading it from time to time. The story was a lot of fun, as well as sometimes deep. Definitely worth a look!

RECOMMENDED?
Yes, it's a story that has a lot of heart in to it, despite what you may initially think.

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
Oh...my...gosh! Be sure to have your sound on when you play, because the music was well chosen! Most of them elegant and emotional piano pieces that enhances the emotions needed to be conveyed in certain scenes. It was absolutely gorgeous.

[ARTWORK]:
The art was pretty good! It really felt like an authentic visual novel from Japan, and the filter photos added a nice, realistically touch without looking so out of place.

[INTERACTION]:
This is a Kinetic version of the original Homeward, with all adult content removed, so there is no longer any interaction.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
Nothing harsh. Just some "d" and "h" mainly.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None that I remember.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
There's a scene where Riku and Haruka are in a tied leg race, and her bra begins to loosen. There's even a CG showing that see-through. When he and the girls are up on a tower, and a huge gust blows, Haruka's skirt blows up (and it is mentioned he could see her underwear, and polka dots are shown to represent that). There's a few innuendo here and there. Also, when Riku is rubbing lotion on his little sister, Sora, even though it is his sister, has a few odd descriptions in his narrative thoughts. Though not shown, when Haruka is clumsy, she accidently grabs him in the crouch (so it seems). ~SPOILER!!!!~ Though the Sora arc is not present in this version, there does seem to be some hinting Sora likes Riku a little more beyond just a brother. It seems to be later implied Riku and Nonami have slept with each other when Sora acts "What's it like to do it with Nonami?" Also, there is a pretty much sex scene between Riku and Haruka after Riku and Nonami go through a fight and Haruka reveals how much she loves Riku to him. There's some description of holding her breasts and gasping, but no nudity is shown and it doesn't go too far (in fact, whether they went all the way or not almost seems left up to the reader).

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
~SPOILER~ When Riku shows defiance towards his father about moving again, he does hit him to the ground.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
They visit a shrine, and the girls buy love fortunes. 


Sunday, July 14, 2013

GRINNING HEART: THE MEETING

This is a simple short Kinetic Comedy Novel about a vampire and a lost traveller.
It's about how they're in love each other No, I won't make it that cliche. It's about how's vampire tricked the lost traveller.
The story begins with a bored Vampire who stayed in the castle over thousands years, and he wants something new in his life.
And Suddenly, a traveller with unexpected circumstance, come to his life.
The traveller true self was a famous handsome-man hunter, person who go around the world to take handsome-man's photographs. And the vampire is her next prey.
While she was acting cool, she didn't know that the Vampire can read her mind.
[Lemmasoft description]

Developers(s): ngareci
Rating: All Ages

{I, the reviewer, give Grinning Heart: The Meeting,  9 out of 10!}
~*~Download The Game Here~*~

COMMENTS

Vampire love stories are quite common these days. However, despite what you might get from the title, this story may have a vampire...but there's zero romance to be found here! No, no, no...as the writer said, she's not gonna make it that cliche!

Grinning Heart, sub title "The Meeting" is the first installment of this comedic short Kinetic series. We follow a bored vampire who finally gets a little entertainment when a lost traveller, a handsome-man-hunter lady who's looking to take a photograph of yet another handsome man for her collection, asks to stay the night at his castle.

The most entertaining part is probably their thoughts. The vampire can read lost traveler's mind, and it's amazing how her polite manner of speech differs from her actual thoughts! What's also cute is whenever either one is thinking, a chibi in a thought bubble shows up with its own varying expressions.

Now, is there anything to nitpick at? Minor grammar errors, but it's very, very few. The art is a little rough, yet very eye-pleasing in design and coloring. It's pretty close to a professional standard. Also, I really liked the backgrounds.

Do I have any major complaints? Yeah, but only one; IT WAS TOO SHORT!!!!! You begin, and soon it ends! However, despite how short it was, the writer did a good job at delivering a solid, entertaining story in only 1,000+ words...but still! I would of loved more. There could of been so much more antics and funny situations to be seen! Luckily, the creator is making a prequel, with sub title "The Voyage" on another handsome-man hunt of hers, so be on the lookout!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this short, but sweet visual novel.

RECOMMENDED?
YES! It's very cute and will make you smile~

I certify this *VISUAL NOVEL NEWCOMER WORTHY* as it's a simple, Kinetic story, and no anime terms are needed and such.

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
The music fit the game pretty well. I especially like the beginning song at the start of the visual novel; gives a classic, creepy feel...though may be a little cheesy, sounds really good.

[ARTWORK]:
The artwork is not bad! A little rough around the edges, but the coloring is very nice that pops out, with lovely character design. And I think the backgrounds were drawn by the artist herself, too!

[INTERACTION]:
This is a Kinetic novel, so there is zero interaction.


[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
About for uses of the "d" word, and a couple OMG (and then lots of literally written OMG).

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
None. Lost traveller just rants in her head about how hot he is.

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
~SPOILER!!!~ Vampire tries to bite her, but it ends up not working due to her tough skin.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
The Vampire wishes not to be bored, and says to God he'll do anything not to be bored. 

UNTOLD MYTH 1ST TALE: EARTHBREAKING FLIGHT

Belle, a Chimera living on Lycia region was enjoying her usual peaceful life. Until one day, she met a Harpy from outside of Lycia. The Harpy asked Belle to help her to find the source of unnatural earthquakes that affected the world outside. Little did Belle know that this meeting was going to change her peaceful life into a chaotic one.
[renpy.org description]

Developers(s): EVE Project
Rating: 16+

{I, the reviewer, give Untold Myth 1st Tale: Earthbreaking Flight, 8 out of 10!)
~*~Click Here For Download~*~

COMMENTS

For a Kinetic novel, I was highly impressed with it. Because you don't feel like you're playing a visual story, but that you are almost watching an anime. Why? Animations! I was thoroughly impressed with all the transitions and movements of the sprites. They didn't just stand there, occasionally changes expression like VN sprites usually do, but they were actually moving! They would bounce up and down, look like they were walking...that's a lot of custom move statements, and as a Ren'Py user myself, I could tell a lot of work was put into that, because to do all those animations to static sprites is very tedious! I also liked the comic book expressions, such as question marks, popping vein, sweatdrops, etc. that would also show up. 

Now, aside from the brilliance in the animation to the sprites, let's get into the actual story! We begin with Belle. a young Chimera who is just waking up at the start of a brand new morning. She's hungry and goes to hunt for some food. Unfortunately, for her, the birds are too smart for her and drop a rock on her head...ouch. Then she goes for a rabbit, but sadly, has the kill stolen by a Harpy....who stuffs the kill in her skirt?!

This odd meeting is how these two, a Harpy and a Chimera, go on a little adventure together! The Harpy, Aello, is here to investigate Lycia's (the mountain region which Belle dwells) earthquakes, which are very unusual. She drags Belle to come along with her, and a lot of comedy ensues. They even meet a sleeping nomad on the way, who evidently swallowed a spoon....okay, weird. 

I seriously can't stress this enough; it was like watching an anime! I admired the work put into those animations, and the chibi CGs were cute and made it all the more hilarious. However, my major pet peeve with this story would probably be the grammar. Spelling seemed alright, but a lot of the grammar was awkward and would probably need some more proofreading. However, since the creator's first language is most likely not English, I'm not getting on this too harshly either because it's not so bad where you have no idea what is going on. But particularly, that was the only major flaw I could find. Also, while the writing itself is pretty good, I also felt some parts kinda dragged, but for the most part it was a pretty good flow. 

Of course, the story isn't over yet for the strange duo. Being the 1st tale, obviously there should be more episodes on the way. The game is rated 16+ for a reason, and that is mainly due to Aello's way of storing food (in her skirt) and a quite fanservice-y CG where a character is practically naked (almost...anyway). But aside from all that, it's a fairly enjoyable story, and I'd be interested to see it develope further as our two heroines explore more and get into other interesting situations. 

RECOMMENDED?
Yes! This Kinetic novel had a lot of work put into it, as you will see by the animations. I advise DO NOT CLICK SO FAST! That way you can enjoy the animations (clicking cancels and skips it). 

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
The music was very fitting for the game's atmosphere. Some pieces sounded quite nice. 

[ARTWORK]:
The artwork was pretty good! The character sprites are pretty well drawn out, and some of the rare CGs look quite eye-pleasing. Then you have the cute, comical chibi CGs that display humerous scenes. 

[INTERACTION]:
This is a Kinetic, so there is zero interaction.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
Other than "crap", seems clear of this. 

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
None.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
When Belle is trying to catch a rabbit for lunch, Aello kills it then stores it in her skirt. Later when they have lunch, it is mentioned how she stored that in her skirt as well. When they meet a nomad, building herself a house and almost collapsing a cave, they stop her but end up ripping her clothes (the detailed parts of her breasts are covered with tatters). 

[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Mostly cartoonish violence and blood, like getting hit with a rock, being kicked, and hurled to the ground with some blood. 

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
This deals with fantasy creatures like chimera, harpies, etc. and some powers are mentioned,but mainly powers of incredible strength are displayed. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

DOPPELGANGER: DAWN OF THE INVERTED SOUL


After her sister Bertha's death, Lucia Nicol is struggling to follow her footsteps. She becomes a self-centered person who will do anything to replace Bertha's position in her family. Her actions made her schoolmates to loathe and bully her, thus leading to an unexpected event. One by one, the schoolmates who bullied her were attacked and suddenly she became the main suspect. After those events, she found out that she was able to see people who can’t be seen by “normal” people, and uncover the dark, insane truth of an entity called “Doppelganger”. Her life is suddenly in danger, and those people she normally trusts suddenly don’t look so kind any more…

Play as Lucia as you struggle to escape your fate; dying or living a life where you will certainly wish you are dead…

Developers(s): Memento Mori Productions
Rating: 16+

~*~Click Here For Download~*~

{I, the reviewer, give Doppelganger: Dawn of The Inverted Soul, 10 out of 10!)

COMMENTS

"Why don't you wish for it?"

Doppelganger: Dawn Of The Inverted Soul has been a long awaited OELVN by azureXTwilight, the creator of the Fantasia otome series (Realm of Thanos, Requiem of The Abyss) and Re:Set. It's a supernatural, mystery, psychological thriller that will take you on a wild ride.

You take the role of Lucia Nicol, a bright young girl who attends Valudeto High School. She's a bit snooty and self-centered, however, this is due to the burden of trying to be like Bertha, her deceased older sister who was tragically murdered in an unusual way. Every character plays some kind of important role in the story; they aren't just there. What causes Lucia to get mixed up in the Doppelganger business in the first place is when she was locked in the bathroom by Anatasia and her gang. Feeling severe hatred, a voice asks her to tell her her wish. And that's when...she wishes for Anatasia and the rest of them to know misery, and to become like Bertha. Bu she soon sees that she gets more than she bargained, after Anatasia is brutally injured, she is suspected, and now she's even seeing people who no one else can see! Not to mention some of her closest friends are starting to look suspicious as well. And even more so, there is some other strange guy who seems to know things, but what are his intentions? You'll also soon learn you're not the only victim of these weird entities, but it seems to be spreading like an epidemic within the city...

This game is so intricately written, that I cannot say much without spoiling the story. It's a mystery, after all. Sometimes you survive, sometimes you live, sometimes you even become crazed. You'll get pieces of information that seem to tell you everything, then another path shows you otherwise. This game is fairly good at screwing with your head. But the overall goal is for Lucia to find strength, to overcome her weakness. This game isn't just some blood fest with a supernatural mystery involved; it's so much deeper than that. You'll learn so much about the other characters and why they are the way they are. What I liked most about the story is it made some really good, in depth points that were really meaningful. The "doppelgangers" are basically the dark side of yourself, those unrealized dark wishes that pass through our minds manifested into a solid form. It sorta makes you think about what really dwells in your heart and if you can overcome it. "Doppelgangers" are the you that you want to be, but it's the worst way to achieve it. Seeing those creatures is when you truly realize what's wrong, but how do you defeat it? This certainly gives new meaning to "be careful what you wish for".

The gameplay was amazing. It may just be a choice-based game, but each choice affects not only the path you've taken, but also will affect your ending, so tread carefully. I also loved the bonus material. You get a music room, video room, ending gallery (to know what endings you got and have left), and the CG gallery (which includes 3 pieces of fanart). The CGs were pretty amazing, there's 80+ of them, the most I've EVER seen in a free game. Admittedly, a few of the CGs are drawn slightly awkward, but most of them are well thought out and really shows azure's improvement. It's almost hard to believe this ISN'T a commercial game, considering how long it is, how many endings, the detailed writing (practically up to commercial standards), and the showers of CGs. This seriously is THE LARGEST free VN I have ever played, and I wouldn't be shocked if IT IS the largest; once installed, it's like 600MB (that's huge for a visual novel without voice acting). The game also has TWO opening videos AND ending. The first one is really good and gives you that mysterious feel, BUT the second one is the best, which is unlocked and replaces the original opening when you unlock the "True" path. The ending video is also really cool, full of CGs and the tones and textures used really match the game, you could tell azure put a lot of work into making this.

My only real complaint is a few of the endings are kinda same-ish, just on a different path and she has a few different final thoughts (you'll see), so it was a tad bit annoying to kind of see the same thing, but sometimes it was important to see it that way I guess. There's also some typos scattered here and there, but I give it kind of a pass since due to the size of this game, the proofreaders could only do so much, plus the grammer and spelling was A LOT better compared to her previous games. There's also a few minor errors, such as one path's game menu showing up instead when it should be another game menu when you complete the path (you get Ralph's menu after completing Blake). And there are 2 CGs that remains locked, even when it was suppose to be unlocked. To be honest, I didn't appreciate too much of the use of some harsh language, but surprisingly it was done tastefully and considering the situation, I can't blame them really for cursing. I was glad it wasn't overdone and was only used when the situation called for it.

Overall, I was completely satisfied with this game. Lucia is an amazing heroine and people can relate to (as someone who has self-loathed herself, I was happy to follow her and this game has even got to me, in a good way!) I remember the first ending I got, even though it was an ending that explain very little, was even so still satisfying. The deeper you get into the game, the more truths and even lies you'll discover. Each path gives you only fragments, and it's your job to piece them together. You'll come up with many theories, until the "final" path is unlocked, which I feel serves as "the answer arc" (and is, hands down, the BEST PATH, you'll see). This is a game of survival, but mere instincts aren't going to save you.

RECOMMENDED?
I recommend this to ANYONE who loves mysteries and psychological thrillers. This weill take you on a wild ride and is VERY ADDICTING. The deeper you get, the more you'll want to know THE TRUTH. You may or may not have seen it coming.

I certify this *VISUAL NOVEL NEWCOMER WORTHY* as it's not based in Japan (so you don't need to get used to certain terminology if you're new to anime) and much easier to follow than Higurashi no Naku Koro ni (but that doesn't mean it won't confuse you; trust me, it will...sometimes to a frustrating level).

PLAYER'S COMFORT

[MUSIC]:
PERFECT MUSICAL SCORE! There are no songs that are out of place and they fit the mood of their chosen scenes really well. There's simple songs, creepy songs, intense songs, even some emotional songs which a few are very beautiful pieces. I also liked the two opening themes and end theme.

[ARTWORK]:
I LOVED the artwork this time around! If you ever played the original demo for this game and compared the completed version with the demo that contained older art, it's amazing the jump of improvement (seriously, watch some of the original playthrough previews on azure's YouTube channel). It's obvious azureXtwilight improves really fast and will only continue to get better. The sprites look really good, nearing commercial quality, and I like the coloring. The CGs were gorgeous as well. A few of them did looked drawn a little weird, admittedly.


[INTERACTION]:
This is a choice-based VN, so every so often you are presented with choices that could possibly alter the game's path. And amazingly enough, some choices that may not seem to affect anything right away really does play an important role for what ending you'll get, so it's a little tricky. Most of the time, every choice you make plays a great importance to whether or not you'll survive or save someone. I think I got about half amount of the 29 endings (or almost) playing it straight through myself, no skipping before I went to the walkthrough. As you play, when you get to certain endings, there are two unlockable paths and one "final" path that you unlock (aka the true path). Once you unlock the "final path" more scenes in the main story will suddenly appear, explaining and replacing some of the mystery scenes that were present before unlocking.

[CONTENT CARD]

[LANGUAGE]
Moderate use of language. The typical "a", "b" (both kinds), "s", "d", "h", and even sometimes the "f" word but thankfully it isn't used a million times...most of the harsh words are just sprinkled here and there.

[TABACCO/ALCOHOL/DRUG USE]
One character used to be a heavy smoker, and you'll see that in flashbacks. Anatasia smokes, but that's only in one scene. There is also a scene where a couple of cops are at a bar. There's almost mentions about being drunk.

[SEXUAL CONTENT/NUDITY]
When Lucia first meets Yuri, and if you "Reject" giving his letter, to make him go away she yells "Help, help, this guy's trying to rape me!" There are a few innuendo type jokes, but they thankfully don't go too far. *SPOILERS* You learn that when Clifford's body was taken over, his dopplelganger does as he pleases with it such as being a high priced prostitute. One character has Klinefetter and was also mentioned to have been born with both private parts (He just describe it as "having that thing and that thing, but Dad removed the girly part"). He developed feelings a crush on a "boy" in his childhood, but in truth this "boy" was a girl, whom he still loves (they kind of balance each other out). A certain doppelganger mentions how he can do whatever he wants to a couple characters (he even licks one of their faces) and when he kicks Shuang around he says "Why don't you strip? People tend to feel pity towards naked girls".


[VIOLENCE/BLOOD AND GORE]
Oh my...where to start? Well, as seen from the screenshot, this game is 16+ for a reason. There's descriptions such as eyeballs being sliced, noses being smashed and twisted, and stabbing knives directly into the heart (more described then shown, but there are some bloody CGs, such as Anatasia curled up and blood where her eyes used to be but her hair covers that area, so you just see the blood). It is mentioned hos Bertha was kidnapped and tortured, found dead with two holes in her chest and forehead. In Death endings, there's scenes like stabbing (shown with CGs, but thankfully not utterly gruesome), holding someone who was killed, and sometimes even suicide (one particular shows a CG where he fell of a building, and you see blood splatter underneath his head). There's lots of fighting with swords, gun, and the like. Sometimes you'll see the sprites covered in blood, dying, or even crazed. There is even a scene described where someone takes revenge on the person who hit them with their car; it is described to have been beaten to death with a bat (you see only the aftermath in CG form, where he is covered in blood). There are more violent descriptions than there are actually shown in CG form, BUT it does the job to paint a pretty red picture in your mind. The violence isn't as vicious as, say, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, but sometimes it can get pretty close.

[RELIGIOUS MATERIAL]
After a friend is sent to the hospital after being hit by a car, Lucia ends up calling Yuri (when you're on his path) to tell why she'll be late for tutoring, and when Yuri says he will be OK since his father is operating on him, Lucia yells "How do you know? Your father's not God!" Yuri replies "if god existed I wouldn't be like this"( though considering what he's been through, it's understandable why he says that). On Blake's path, he calms down Lucia saying that they should pray for him. Another character says something similar "all we can do is pray for him". In some death scenes, there are visions of going to the afterlife peacefully. The doppelgangers are evil entities that, by "wishing" they take form into what you want to be, and once your wish has been satisfied, they BECOME you. Once your body is taken over, you become a "lost one", kinda like a ghost and they can only be seen by certain hunters and others with Doppelgangers. *SPOILERS* We learn that doppelgangers are demons summoned long ago by someone from the Lee family, and they all ended up getting doppelgangers, but one Lee member was able to stop the craze, thus began how a certain family became doppel-slayers. There is some magic use by said family. One character keeps saying people who conjure up doppelgangers are trash, but another character says otherwise, destroying his point. Chunxiang uses a story from the Bible to illustrate her point, mentioning how Eve ate the apple and was thrown from the garden. I think another Bible story was mentioned somewhere else in the game to illustrate a point (Samson, maybe?).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A very, very belated Happy New Year! (3 years of reviews)

Hello, my dear readers! It's been awhile, ne? I'd just like to wish a (very belated) Happy New Year! Despite not posting as often as I know I should, I plan to bring the blog back to life again! I have just been so busy with school (second semester of college already o.o) that it's been hard to find time to watch anime or read manga. But, if I budget my time wisely, I might be able to put out some stuff frequently! First of all, there WILL be a full series review on the anime classic, Neon Genesis Evangelion. A friend was kind enough to lend me the whole DVD set, and I have been going through it, watching both the dub and sub for comparison (and as a student of the Japanese language, I begin to pick up words more and more). And.....expect a "My Neighbor Totoro" review NEXT WEEK! That's right. Another friend lent it to me. But....! This isn't the Disney re-release. This is the ORIGINAL DUB (but from what I understand it, it is unedited, 'cause Miyazaki wouldn't let them dub it if they did). The DVD I was lent was released by 20th Centuary Fox and, though unedited, doesn't come with the original Japanese audio. The Disney version was not only REDUBBED with a major cast, but as usual, it comes with the option of the original Japanese with English subs. So...! I am kinda glad, since I didn't know there was another dub. I will later get my hands on the Disney version, so I can compare TWO DUBS and THE JAPANESE! Now, how about manga wise? I need to finish "NG Life" since it was borrowed and is my friend's favorite series, so....if I cannot get to it volume by volume, I *may* have to review the series as a whole, but I will try volume by volume. Also, Higurashi When They Cry if I can get to it. So there you go. Expect reviews soon, and of course, webmanga reviews will appear here and there as well.